The following are the top three finalist project submissions to be presented in front of a live jury at the 2015 New Leaf Community Challenge on Thurs., Dec. 10.

Community Food Hub
Lead organizations: Just Food and the Ottawa Network for Education

This proposal is to establish a non-profit social enterprise that will strengthen the relationship between local food systems and food security through more economically-efficient, coordinated buying and distribution of nutritious, fresh food for community food programs city-wide. It will also facilitate business engagement in food storage solutions for community agencies serving low-income communities; and engage community members to address barriers to community food security.

Lead organizations: Operation Come Home and Causeway Work Centre

FoodWorks is a meal preparation and delivery social enterprise designed to provide quality meals to seniors and those with disabilities that are at risk of losing their independence. FoodWorks has a quadruple bottom line: to reduce isolation amongst seniors and those with disabilities; to provide quality, nutritionally-dense meals at an affordable, fair market price to assist seniors to maintain independent living (Aging in Place); to employ at risk youth in all aspects of the business; and to adopt an environmentally-friendly method of delivery.

Transforming the Food System in West Carleton
Lead organizations: Ottawa Good Food Box (Centretown Community Health Centre) and EnviroCentre’s Sustain West Carleton initiative

This proposal is to create infrastructure to improve food systems and food security in West Carleton by: establishing a new community root cellar that will enable area farmers to store their produce longer; creating a West Carleton Food Centre where local farmers can drop off their produce for redistribution; expanding the market share of local food through the Good Food Box (GBF) and local retailers; and expanding/strengthening the GFB program in the region.